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SQL Server Troubleshooting

Agent: Never started ... and won't start


An agent has the status ‘Never started’ and whilst it can be told to start it doesn't run and the status never change from ‘Never started’. This can affect Snapshot Agents, Log Reader Agents, Distribution Agents, Merge Agents or Miscellaneous Agents.


The owner of the job (who is probably the user who created the job or who first set up replication) does not have the necessary permissions.

Possible Remedies:

Review whether the current owner of the job is appropriate. Then either:

  • Grant the owner the necessary permissions.
  • Change the owner to a more suitable account (for example SQLServerAgent assuming that account was created when SQL Server was installed).

The owner of the job is shown under ‘Agent Properties’.

These notes are believed to be correct for SQL Server 7 and may apply to other versions as well.

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